Brewing with the Kids?

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Trenchant

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My mom used to make her own wine all the time and she was glad to see me making beer. I'm probably one of the most responsible teenagers you will find. My little brother took a little bit of a nose dive in the last few years. They're glad to see I understand what I'm doing, everything is made at home where they know whats happening and most importantly I'm learning another skill.

I will hopefully be picking up a fridge tomorrow. Beer will be on tap so I can have friends over for some free beer. But they will know exactly whats going on because everything is in public view to them.

I think they like the beer idea a lot more then when I was toying with the idea of building a still.... :D

It's great to see parents educating their kids and introducing them to the hobby! My mom owns a few fast food restraunts and is usually exhausted after dealing with employee's that don't show up or food that doesn't come in. I'm normally able to convince her to help me. She owns 2 fast food restraunts, my dad owns a life insurance and investment company and I run my own web developement company. We don't always get to see eachother that much.
 

Moonshae

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It all started with a dip of the finger for me. Now, I have to keep my glass out of reach. It took me a few times to learn that a glass-o-beer left unnattended was oppoirtunity for my boy and I've caught him sampling more than a finger dip before I learned to take the glass with me or put it out of reach.
I have this same problem, but with my dog. She's very good, though, drinks out of the pint glass without knocking it off the coffee table and everything. The first time, I thought, gee, that pint went fast. The next time I caught her with her nose in the glass (I moved quieter that time, so she didn't have time to get away). Now I keep the glass out of reach of I have to leave the room.
 

nosmatt

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my 9 year old is an excellent helper!

SMWMBO was my bottling buddy, but i was alone for all of the other process... now my oldest boy is nocking down boil overs with the spray bottle, helping with the wort chiller... all aspects. last weekend was the easiest brew day to date, and i bottled in the middle. all because he wanted to help. i should have tapped this resource a long time ago... in fact, ten minutes ago, i got "is it a brew day dad!?" from him.

on the other hand, my three year old could care less :(
i shall break him in slowly.
 

Champurrado

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Mr. TuneMarshall:

My 9 year old daughter is very helpful. She doesn't really participate all that much with brew days but she has bottled every beer I've brewed. I'd like to give a demonstration at her school but common sense, for once has prevailed. I don't see a problem having my kids learn about starch conversion, fermentation and hydrolics. It's really just science, right? My oldest daughter works at the brew/pub at her college and when she's home for the holidays, shows a healthy interest in the process. I say get the kids involved.
 

mr_goodwrench

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My six year old daughter has been helping me for awhile. In fact, my first kit was a father's day gift when she was two. She loves to help and does so with nearly all aspects from going to the LHBS with me to get grains to cleaning bottles. I knew she really liked to help but I had no idea how much it meant to her until one day a few months ago.

She is in first grade and everyday they do what the teacher calls 'writer's workshop'. They pick a topic and write a few sentences about it. She had brought a bunch of them home for us to read and when SWMBO came across one, she burst out laughing:





Well, it brought a tear to my eye! Then I became a bit concerned about what the teacher was going to say. I waited for the phone call but it never came. We even went to parent teacher conference and nary a mention of it!

She understands that like mommy's wine, my beer is an adult beverage and she can't drink it right now. I agree with everyone else that being exposed to responsible alcohol consumption from a young age is the key to a healthy attitude toward it. I am hoping that she will enjoy a good beer or wine when she gets a bit older and is less likely to be out binge drinking.

Here is a picture of her helping to harvest some wild hops at my parents farm.

 

Stef1966

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Maybe thats because I'm Canadian...

But tell me folks, I do not get why would any school be concerned about kids helping out parents brewing beer, when all we see on TV are murders, rapes, drug dealers, images of war and the like?

I mean, who cares about brewing beer when there are street gangs out there waiting to tax your young child's lunch money with a switch blade knife every day?

People have to wake up that brewing beer is nothing compared to a lot of commonly seen stuff young children get exposed to on a daily basis.

Maybe i do not have my values set in the right order...?

I'll drink to that.
 

mr_goodwrench

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Thats the way I look at it. Unfortunately, sometimes schools have somewhat skewed priorities and especially around here, there are many stories of kids and alcohol (teen aged driving related usually) that end in tragedy. It seems that schools want to keep kids separated from alcohol at all costs.

And yes, it is because you are Canadian! :p
 

BrewinJack

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if getting your kids involved teaches them respect and other qualities that brewers are required to have to be sucessful, and also many other qualities as well... personally it helped my chemestry lab work in highschool to no end... but now at the age of 21 i look back and learning the skill helped me more times then i could have known... So teach them, let them help... keep an eye on them, and make sure they know and respect what achohal is.... Dont let some naysayer *****epaddle (thanks for inventing this word Revvy) of a health teacher put the star struck immage of achohal in your kids minds... teach then that it should be respected and understood, not feared and worshiped...

Edit: I changed this because it was too personal and wishy washy for my tastes, and i could feel the Mod who saw it lettering there fingers hover over the "Ban" button

Cheers
 

Moonshae

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persepctive commision disipline pacients steeling freshment tradgedy counslers serivces arested achohal havent reaspect possiably undenyable highschool pregeant acident sacrifce im alot commisioned pacients thats sucessful chemestry highschool achohal Dont immage achohal comming persepctive
Kids, stay in school and learn how to spell. You'll get along better in life. Alcohol will wait for you to finish developing your brain, I promise.
 

BrewinJack

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Kids, stay in school and learn how to spell. You'll get along better in life. Alcohol will wait for you to finish developing your brain, I promise.
i am thinking of saying somthing mean and definatly insulting, in fact it would likely involve you mother having sexual relations with a goat, and also pontificate at great length about how much foolish and judgemental you are... and how when sombody says somthing you simply make a joke out of it... instead i am gonna just say, you go your way and i will go mine... its clear you dont like me, and now i dont like you... so shove it and I will be over there

cheers
 

1234ScottD

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Well, on lighter note. I have read through all the post in this thread.
I have a fifteen year old step son, two daughters 10 and 9.
My son and I have had a strained relationship over the past few years, he's not the talkative type, and I had a stressfull job. I quit that job about a year ago, and the family life is getting better.
I decided to get back into brewing and my son and I were home alone. I offered for him to help me. He reluctantly at first helped, but really got into it.
While the wort was boiling we actually started to talk. He has helped with several batches since. The daughters got mad that they couldn't. So they have been assigned the bottling supervisors.
Anyway , I feel the conversations, and time I have spent with my son may have forever changed the way we got along together. We now even talk when not brewing, and I got a hug for the first time in 6 years or so.

I know that there are some out there who say it is wrong to let kids near alcohol at that age, and they do have good reasons.

I respect their right to have their opinion. I don't judge their reasons, or their motives. As for this household, I can say it has many more positives than any possible negatives. I talk to my kids about the effects of drinking. They know that if they do go to that party and drink too much, they will not killed if they call me for a ride. I think because of their new found respect and understanding of alcohol, the chances of that happening are greatly diminished. Ok,,, I think I'm done now.


Scott:mug:
 

Kungpaodog

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I don't have any kids yet, but I can't see any real downsides to brewing with your kids. It seems like everyone here has only good things to say about it, and I bet that any of the children mentioned here will be at very low risk of becoming binge drinkers in college.

I've got a co-worker with a 6 year old son who got very interested in how a keg worked at a BBQ last summer, so dad showed the kid how the tap worked and explained the physics of pressure etc, and the boy couldn't wait for someone to have an empty cup. He was pretty cute re-filling cups all afternoon! This dad is always mellow and willing to teach.

I've got another co-worker who has a boy who's afraid of dogs for no good reason. I take my incredibly friendly dog to any work function when appropriate, and the dad reinforces the boy's behavior by coddling him instead of explaining that the dog won't hurt him and teaching him to get over his fears. The kid seems a bit sheltered.

I'll give you one guess which boy is more likely to escape into the big scary world and go on a four year bender in college.
 

hungrymonkey

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I tried brewing with my kids.

But they kept climbing out of the pot.


:D



Actually, my 9 year old thinks that anything Dad does (Imagine saying Dad while rolling your eyes).
Is not cool, or interesting in the least bit.

My 2 year old twin boys, like to say "beer". They have no idea what it means. Other than it gets a cool reaction out of mom, every time they say it.



I am contemplating brewing up some root beer, and forcing my oldest son to participate.
 

ChshreCat

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My daughter is 15 and she loves being my assistant brewer. She even washes and delables bottles without a single complaint!

She's told all her friends at school that she and I brew together and she's learning all about it. They're quite jealous even though they know she's not getting any yet. We're setting aside a bottle from each wine and mead I make for when she turns 21. Should be quite a stash in 6 years.
 

TheProph3t

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My son is 7 months now... by 2 he will be able to pour the perfect draft and distinguish between different bottle colors… save me from getting up and down… :D
 
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My son is 7 months now... by 2 he will be able to pour the perfect draft and distinguish between different bottle colors… save me from getting up and down… :D
haha no no, the green label, not the blue one. And where is the head? I taught you to pour better than that! No Blue's clues until I see a 1 inch head on that glass!
 

Homercidal

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My 9 yo daughter has helped me brew a batch or two. The first one was an IPA and when it came time to bottle, I told her she needs to taste it to make sure it isn't bad. She was a bit hesitant, but I told her she didnt' have to swallow, but it's important to know if it's bad, because I don't want to bottle if it's not any good.

So she got a sip and couldn't run tot eh bathroom fast enough!! Well, her sister was in that bathroom with the door locked, so she had to run all the way to the back bathroom to spit it out! I guess she's not going to be drinking beer for a long time! I know, mean trick...

Well, she did help with another batch and did taste that one too and didn't like it and spit it out, but she did try it. I am pretty sure she will have no clue as to what a "bad" batch is going to taste like!

Her 15 yo sister refuses to even taste any of my beers, which is a bit disappointing, but she has her reasons, and I will not force any of them to drink if they do not want to. It would be nice if she at least tasted it though, or gave me a reason why she won't. I mean, I have to read her crappy essays from school! LOL!

My little one seems to be interested in the science behind the brewing process, so that makes it more enjoyable for me.
 
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My 9 yo daughter has helped me brew a batch or two. The first one was an IPA and when it came time to bottle, I told her she needs to taste it to make sure it isn't bad. She was a bit hesitant, but I told her she didnt' have to swallow, but it's important to know if it's bad, because I don't want to bottle if it's not any good.

So she got a sip and couldn't run tot eh bathroom fast enough!! Well, her sister was in that bathroom with the door locked, so she had to run all the way to the back bathroom to spit it out! I guess she's not going to be drinking beer for a long time! I know, mean trick...

Well, she did help with another batch and did taste that one too and didn't like it and spit it out, but she did try it. I am pretty sure she will have no clue as to what a "bad" batch is going to taste like!

Her 15 yo sister refuses to even taste any of my beers, which is a bit disappointing, but she has her reasons, and I will not force any of them to drink if they do not want to. It would be nice if she at least tasted it though, or gave me a reason why she won't. I mean, I have to read her crappy essays from school! LOL!

My little one seems to be interested in the science behind the brewing process, so that makes it more enjoyable for me.
Father of the Year haha Forcing your 15yo to drink beer! other kids could only be soo lucky!
I AM OF COURSE ONLY JOKING WITH YOU, NOT REALLY CALLING YOU A BAD PARENT.
 

nosmatt

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my 9 tear old helped me bottle last night after dinner.
started actual bottle filling of a 5 gal batch of stout @ 8:12p.m. done @ 8:28 p.m.!!!!
that's cleaned up and evertyhing.
i did sanatize while making dinner, and mix up the bottling sugar.... but i could not keep up with his filling./ blew SWMBO away in this regard.

for $4.00 i got 48 bottles filled,AND 48 bottled delabled this weekend.
i love cheap labor.
 

Baunno

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The problem arises when the zero tolerance, nanny state gets wind of that little sip and you get stern looking humorless people dragging your children away and you are getting charged with reckless endangerment, contributing to the delinquency, underage drinking and stoopidity in the night time. The state takes a dim view of just about eveything, including that innocent little sip. They don't see any difference with that or letting the kid take a toot off of your crack pipe.

If your kid goes to school and tells Mrs. Ballbricker daddy lets him taste his beer....The feces have just dropped into the launcher, engage rotating oscillator.

Never underestimate the mean spiritedness of your local authorities.

end of rant:
Agreed...been there, had that done to us...aint no fun at all. Just wait until the 5 -7 year old grows a little older and goes to DARE classes in middle school and starts talking about helping o'le dad on brew day. Oh yea, not so cute when a school guidance councilor calls and threatens to have a case worker from Dept of Children Services put you on their call list. Nope, not me.
 

ChshreCat

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Actually, it states clearly in the law (at least Washington state) that it's perfectly legal for my daughter to taste the beer and wine we make. Hell, it'd be legal for her to get hammered right here. Of course, she only gets to have a sip to see how what she helped make came out. I'd rather she not experience her first hangover until she's twenty-one and a day. :D
 

SkylerChaBro

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it's get even better when my daughter told her kindergarten Teacher we were making beer. Her teachers totally hot, I can't wait till she calls me into her office to discuss it.
I like how you think good sir.
 

albannach

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You guys will be surprised at how responsible your kids will grow up to be. The reason most kids/teenagers go insane over any alcohol they can find is mostly due to the fact that they have been told that they can't have any and that "it's bad".
My parents allowed me to drink a glass of wine, a beer, or a little whiskey/rum/whatever ever since I was 14 or so. The rules were simple, one drink, you don't drive, and you only do this at our house.
I'm now a successful college student who has never gotten p*** drunk just because there was a keg of bud urine around. The main thing that attracts kids to an excess of alcohol is the novelty of it; once you show them that alcohol is perfectly fine as long as you're responsible, they won't go on puke-inducing drinking binges.
 

TeufelBrew

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My 16 yr old daughter has enjoyed helping with all aspects from bottle washing to brewing to bottling. She askes questions about what's going on with all the compounds and yeast. Helps her with her AP biology in school.

Did the Big Brew Day last year with hombrew club and my daughter had a writeup in the newsletter for being so helpful to all the brewers, being knowlegable and asking really good deatailed questions about why they were doing things a certain way.

She's responsible, courteous and has absolutely no interest in the beer yet. I'll be happy with that for now and hope the trend continues.
 

FireBrewer

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My boys have been around it since they were old enough to walk. Right now they're only interested in it pre-dough-in, where they eat handfulls of crushed grain.

Both have had sips and small amounts of beer before. Some they "like", some they don't. I intend for them to grow up with a healthy respect for alcohol, not make it taboo and thereby get them interested in finding out what it's about irresponsibly.
 

FoundationFunkwerks

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Long and short, it's better to have you take the "mystery" of alcohol "out of the bag" instead of another peer of sorts.
I seen it work better that way, with less chances of abuse. (Not really scientific, but from what I've read / personally seen.)
Plus you say your in Illinois?
It's legal in your home to allow your children to drink.

http://drinkingage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002591

"Underage consumption of alcohol in some states is allowed on private, non alcohol-selling premises as long as the under age person has the consent and/or is accompanied by the physical presence of a parent or legal guardian. Private, non alcohol-selling premises include residential homes, private properties not open to the general public, etc. In some states underage consumption of alcohol is also allowed on private, non alcohol-selling premises when the under age person is accompanied by a spouse who is at least 21. Each state sets its own specific requirements for what is considered legal."

The post above me (FireBrewer) hit it right on the head.
 
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